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Digital Parenting: The Effect of Cell Phones in Schools

 A teacher catches a student texting during class

WFAA Daybreak

Marc Istook

Parents are often stuck in the middle between educators who want phones out of classrooms and kids overwhelmed by distracting devices


In this segment for WFAA Daybreak, Dr. Lori Cook shares insights on how to reduce distraction caused by smartphones among adolescents. A Pew Research study has reported 95% of teenagers own or have access to a smartphone, while school administrators overwhelmingly regard the devices as having a negative impact on student learning. Much like adults, young people feel drawn to their phones. Dr. Cook cautions this impact is powerful – the mere presence of a device can present a distraction. 


“Even if we’re not consciously thinking about our phone while it’s there, at some level our brain is essentially having to work not to think about it – I think that’s worth considering in the classroom context as well." – Dr. Lori Cook
Families can agree to keep phones turned off at school and monitor phone usage with apps, and parents and teachers should communicate. Dr. Cook also urges parents to model healthy technology habits in the home. "Our kids see that and learn from that," she explains. Watch the full segment featuring Dr. Lori Cook, and read the article on WFAA

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Lori Cook, PhD, CCC-SLP

Director of Clinical Research Head of Research, The BrainHealth Project Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

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